Las Vegas sports fans have had a rough go of it lately, and that’s putting it mildly. Without a pro team within a four-hour drive, it’s been a struggle for minor league and specialty teams to find an audience. The Las Vegas Wranglers, once a feeder team for the Calgary Flames 1,200 miles away, have made the playoffs seven out of their eight seasons of existence, but currently lack an NHL affiliate to call their own. The Las Vegas Locos are two-time UFL champions but drew just 600 fans to their last game, a 41-6 drubbing of Omaha at the 36,800-seat Sam Boyd Stadium. The Las Vegas Sin, who were one win away from the Lingerie Football League crown last year, took this year off. Even UNLV football’s built-in college fan base has to be discouraged with this year’s Rebels, who lost to Division I-AA Northern Arizona at home and blew a 17-point halftime lead to rival UNR.
So the time is right for the Las Vegas Legends (“Ready to Score”), one of nine expansion teams joining the Professional Arena Soccer League this season. Soccer has always been a curious fit for the U.S., but there are plenty of leagues out there, from the most prominent Major League Soccer (home to the Los Angeles Galaxy and its stars David Beckham and Landon Donovan) to the PASL, which evolved out of the amateur Premier Arena Soccer League and now boasts 19 teams from Harrisburg, Penn., to Tacoma, Wash., including a Mexican franchise in Tijuana. The entire PASL season kicks off with the Legends’ match against neighboring Arizona Storm on Nov. 1.
Also new this week is the city’s seventh resident Cirque du Soleil show, Zarkana (“Stepping Inside Zarkana”), premiering at Aria on the first of the month. A hit at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Zarkana takes the place of Viva ELVIS, which left the building in August. As the only full-scale production show inside CityCenter, all eyes will be on Zarkana to see how it fares in its new home. With special reduced pricing during its preview run, the time to put those eyes on it is now.